Discussion Paper 2301

Longevity Risk and Capital Markets:  The 2021-2022 Update

David Blake, Malene Kallestrup-Lamb and Jesper Rangvid
This Special Issue of the Journal of Demographic Economics contains 10 contributions to the academic literature all dealing with longevity risk and capital markets. Draft versions of the papers were presented at Longevity 16: The Sixteenth International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conference that was held in Helsingør near Copenhagen on 13-14 August 2021. It was hosted by PerCent at Copenhagen Business School and the Pensions Institute at City, University of London.  Longevity risk and related capital market solutions have grown increasingly important in recent years, both in academic research and in the markets we refer to as the Life Market, i.e., the capital market that trades longevity-linked assets and liabilities.1 Mortality improvements around the world are putting more and more pressure on governments, pension funds, life insurance companies, as well as individuals, to deal with the longevity risk they face. At the same time, capital markets can, in principle, provide vehicles to hedge longevity risk effectively and transfer the risk from those unwilling or unable to manage it to those willing to invest in this risk in exchange for appropriate risk-adjusted returns or to those who have a counterpoising risk that longevity risk can hedge, e.g., life offices and reinsurers with mortality risk on their books. Many new investment products have been created both by the insurance/reinsurance industry and by the capital markets. Mortality catastrophe bonds are an early example of a successful insurance-linked security. Some new innovative capital market solutions for transferring longevity risk include longevity (or survivor) bonds, longevity (or survivor) swaps, mortality (or q-) forward contracts and reinsurance sidecars (also called strategic reinsurance vehicles). The aim of the International Longevity Risk and Capital Markets Solutions Conferences is to bring together academics and practitioners from all over  the world to discuss and analyze these exciting new developments.

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